Longreach Pastoral College horse manager John Arnold had mixed emotions after the dispersal of the last draft of Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges' horses at an online auction over the weekend.
Mr Arnold, a former student of the Longreach Pastoral College himself in the 1970s, was manager and instructor of the horse course from 1987 and for the next 33 years, until the college closed two years ago.
While he was sad to see the genetics dispersed, he was given a heartwarming surprise when his family bought him the 24-year-old stallion, Genuine Roy, for $5000.
"I bought him for the college at eight months of age and he is coming home where we can all spoil and love him," Mr Arnold said on Tuesday.
"It is only fitting he comes here as I won a lot of challenges and campdrafts and so did a lot the students - and he certainly deserves a caring and loving home."
Mr Arnold hoped all of the horses were given the same treatment.
"It will be good to see those prefixes of El Pascol and AACC, which were the Longreach bred horses and some AACC and College prefixes, which were the Emerald bred horses, back in competition, or being bred from," Mr Arnold told Queensland Country Life.
"Some of the El Pascol horses can trace back five and six generations to the college's mares, long before the stud was formed."
Mr Arnold said it was in the early 1990s that he was tasked with establishing a horse breeding program and the El Pascol horse stud was registered in line with the prefixes used by the stud sheep and cattle program at the Longreach Pastoral College.
He said the then Longreach Pastoral College-bred horses enjoyed some major achievements, including topping the geldings at both the Rockhampton Quarter Horse sale and the Toomba Horse of the North sale, situated at Charters Towers.
"These horses were kept in the hope that one of the colleges would be resurrected one day," he said.
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